Tag: england

English Garden Tour 2015: Wyken Hall

Wyken Hall is an example of a working farm that has embraced agritourism by adding features such as a vineyard, award-winning restaurant, shops and farmer’s market. Owners Sir Kenneth and Lady Carlisle have transformed Wyken into a vibrant destination. It was interesting to see and gather inspiration for what we are doing at Moss Mountain Farm.

The garden at Wyken is open to the public Sunday through Friday, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., 4 pounds per person. Leaping Restaurant and Country Store are open daily for lunch and Friday and Saturday for dinner. Learn more at www.WykenVineyards.co.uk.

The main entrance to Wyken Hall. The walls of this Elizabethan manor house are stucco with a pomegranate lime wash.

Formal elements in boxwood make a whimsical contribution to the front of Wyken Hall.

A chat path running behind Wyken Hall.

The gardens at Wyken were designed in the 1980s; relatively new compared to the farm and manor house. Designed to blend with the historic house, the gardens include a knot garden, herb garden, kitchen garden, wildflower meadow, nuttery and copper beech maze.

A proud peacock at Wyken.

Paths and arbors lead visitors through a myriad of garden rooms.

Loose perennials among the formal framework in the Hot Border.

A beautiful vista with a dark brahma as a focal point!

Pleached hedges define the various and intriguing garden rooms at Wyken.

Sheep sculptures punctuate the lawn.

A colonnade of clipped yews directs visitors to the next visual treat!

Herbs and boxwood are a classic combination with a sundial as the centerpiece.

Bright blue is a stunning accent color for the garden and the deep pomegranate stucco of the manor house. The purple flowering vine growing behind the bench is Solanum crispum.

Clipped boxwood in various forms define and punctuate this place in the garden.

A quiet place to sit and enjoy the beauty of Wyken.

Lady Carlisle grew up in Mississippi and her southern hospitality is evident when visiting Wyken.

Lady Carlisle and I enjoying a walk through the gardens.

The cast iron corn gates made from a New Orleans mold suggest Lady Carlisle’s southern roots.

Sir Kenneth and Lady Carlisle and I near a sheep paddock on the estate.

The Leaping Hare restaurant, located inside a restored barn, has received top awards for the food. It’s open 7 days a week for lunch and Friday and Saturday for dinner.

Beyond the house and gardens are informal landscapes: meadows, fields and a 7 acre vineyard. Glimpses of these relaxed spaces are revealed while walking through the garden.

The juxtaposition of the clipped and formal to the natural meadow is compelling.

Mown grass paths through the meadows make enchanting walks.

England Garden Tour 2015: Arley Hall

Visiting Arley Hall is like returning to a favorite college haunt, perhaps this is because the estate was one of my favorite places while I was in England studying garden history. I discovered Arley by happenstance while on my way home from dropping my sister off at the airport. During this first tour I met Lady Elizabeth Ashbrook, mistress of the house, and we became fast friends. Over the years I’ve maintained my connection to Arley – Lady Ashbrook’s son Michael has even been to Moss Mountain Farm – and go back whenever I’m in England.

Arley is open to the public March 2015 – October 2015
(Monday – Sunday inclusive) 11am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm)
Visit www.arleyhallandgardens.com for more information.

Friends of the Spade! Lord Ashbrook and Lady Tollemache and I take a walk around the gardens at Arley.

The park surrounding Arley Hall includes the 18th century approach to the hall. The massive English Oaks and sheep add to the bucolic mood.

Arley Hall, in its present form, was built in the Elizabethan style in the 1840s.

The herbaceous borders, often cited as the crown jewels of the gardens at Arley, were laid out in 1846. The alcove serves as a terminus and a place to sit and admire the borders.

Yew “buttresses” punctuate the borders and provide evergreen structure to the garden.

Loose plantings of bulbs and annuals provide contrast to the structure provided by the yew.

Many North American native plants can be seen planted in the borders.

Topiary yew finials and benches frame the view of the park from the borders.

A sequence of flowering from early May through October makes the borders interesting through the season.

The Ilex Avenue is made of large clipped cylinder shaped holly oak – Quercus ilex.

The terminus of the Ilex Avenue is a sunken garden punctuated by a sundial. The large urns were added by my great friend Lady Elizabeth Ashbrook.

Road Trip to the English Countryside

I discovered my inner Anglophile shortly after college while studying garden design and history at the University of Manchester. England felt like a home away from home for me and I don’t think there was a more ideal place in the world for me to hone my landscape design skills.

I recently returned to England on a tour of houses and gardens. While I started in Cheshire for a stay with my friends at Arley Hall, the majority of my visits were made in Norfolk and Suffolk. There was so much to take in and discover. I certainly came home with more than enough material to share with you on my blog. Over the next few months I’ll post a series of installments about my trip. This first one gives the 30,000 foot view.

Arley Hall, Cheshire. A favorite haunt of mine as a student in England. Lady Elizabeth Ashbrook wrote the forward to my 1st book, Garden Home.

Roses and lavender are a classic. Arley Hall gardens.

Arley Hall walled garden. Catmint, 'Halcyon' hosta  and 'Rosemary Rose' roses.

The herb garden at Arley Hall. Lady Ashbrook designed this years ago.

Themed gardens! This one is for golden plants. Very striking! Next to this garden room was one done in silver foliage.

'Fire and Water' fountain at Houghton Hall. David Cholmondeley has done great things with the garden in the past 10 years.

The Mediterranean garden at Houghton Hall. Note the 'bullnose' boxwood border around the raised pool. Brilliant! Love the potted agaves too.

Catmint 'Six Hills Giant' framing the view to the glass house at Houghton Hall.

My friend Xa Tollemache and Carla Carlisle at Lady Carlisle's home Wyken Hall. They are standing behind the Cornstalk Gates. Love it!

Silver parterre at Wyken.

Guinea fowl on the lawn at Wyken. Carla loves poultry!

Wyken Hall. Love the color!

Gifford's Hall. So attractive. David Hicks did the interior design back in the '70s & it still looks great! So hip!

Helmingham Hall was built in 1510. It's completely moated & the drawbridge comes up every night.

Helmingham is so majestic! I love the punctuation & rhythm of the boxwoods along the moat.

One of Xa's beautiful designs at Helmingham.

Columbine Hall and its moat.

The kitchen at Columbine. So charming!

Columbine's dinning room. I was so taken by the generous fireplace.